Game recaps plus an update on the Toronto Maple Leafs.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Carey Price made 25 saves as the Montreal Canadiens blanked the Detroit Red Wings 2-0. It was Price’s 30th career shutout, surpassing Patrick Roy for fourth on the Habs all-time shutout leader list. Tomas Plekanec and Max Pacioretty was the goalscorers.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The win keeps the Canadiens atop the Eastern Conference by two points over the Tampa Bay Lightning with three games in hand.
WINNIPEG FREE PRESS/EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Winnipeg Jets needed a shootout goal from Blake Wheeler to down the Edmonton Oilers 5-4. It was a costly win for the Jets, who lost forwards Mathieu Perreault (leg) and Drew Stafford (lower-body) to injuries. Nail Yakupov scored twice for the Oilers.
CALGARY HERALD: The Flames rallied back from a 3-0 deficit to defeat the Boston Bruins 4-3 on a flukey overtime goal by T.J. Brodie, whose centering pass struck a Bruins defender’s stick and deflected past a surprised Tuukka Rask.
THE VANCOUVER SUN: Alex Biega, playing in his first NHL game, scored the winning goal to lift the Vancouver Canucks to a 3-2 win over the Minnesota Wild.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The win also puts the Canucks into sixth overall in the Western Conference. Though tied with the Calgary Flames in wins and points, the Canucks have played one less game than the Flames.
OTTAWA SUN: The Ottawa Senators fell 6-3 to the Carolina Hurricanes, losing goaltender Robin Lehner and forward Clarke MacArthur when the two collided near the end of the second period. Lehner left under his own power but MacArthur had to be helped from the ice. Both could have head injuries.
Maple Leafs must draft better.
TORONTO SUN: Mike Zeisberger believes the Maple Leafs need to hit a home run at the draft table. Having acquired a first-round draft pick in their recent trade with the Nashville Predators, Zeisberger doesn’t want to see a repeat of their fiasco in 2011, when they packaged one of two first round picks for Tyler Biggs, who’s proven a bust.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That first-round pick from the Predators is bound to be near the bottom of that round. As long as the Leafs land a blue chip prospect with their own first-round pick (which could be in the top five), the pick from the Predators could be useful as a trade chip to land a good young established player later in the draft.